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©Copyright 2011-2015 Eric Wrobbel



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Collectible Daisy Zooka Pop Pistol (1952, USA), a pop gun that shoots a cork. From 'Toy Guns, Space Guns' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/toy-guns.htm Vintage cast aluminum Atom Ray Gun by Hiller (1948, USA), red 33 Repeater pop gun from All-Metal Products (1936, Wyandotte, Michigan, USA). The phenomenal (and as heavy as it looks) Atomic Disintegrator cap pistol from Hubley (c.1950, USA). Bottom right, the Buck Rogers XZ-31 Rocket Pistol from Daisy that started the ray gun craze (1934, USA). From 'Toy Guns, Space Guns' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/toy-guns.htm Vintage Mattel Official Detective Shootin' Shell Snub-Nose .38 toy gun, holster, badge, id card, box, greenie stik-M-caps. 'For about six months when I was five years old, I was a private detective...and I was packing heat...' From 'Toy Guns, Space Guns' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/toy-guns.htm  

Collecting toy guns is borderline politically incorrect. They’ve been labeled as “war toys” and promoters of violence among children. Others say if kids don’t have play guns they will make them out of sticks anyway. This is probably true.

But no stick was ever as cool as these! Known as space guns or ray guns, at left is the Daisy Zooka Pop Pistol (1952, USA), a pop gun that shoots a cork. Below left is an amazing squirt gun, the cast aluminum Atom Ray Gun by Hiller (1948, USA). To the right of it, the red 33 Repeater pop gun from All-Metal Products (1936, Wyandotte, Michigan, USA). Below left the phenomenal (and as heavy as it looks) Atomic Disintegrator cap pistol from Hubley (c.1950, USA). Bottom right, the Buck Rogers XZ-31 Rocket Pistol from Daisy that started the ray gun craze (1934, USA).

Below: I was a detective for about six months in 1959. That was right after I got this Mattel Official Detective Shootin’ Shell Snub-Nose .38 for Christmas. You can see my badge, below right, in its little vinyl wallet along with my official Mattel Detective Squad ID card to which I added, as instructed, my picture and fingerprint.

Obviously, I treasured this toy. Having the shoulder holster with this gun was just terrific, but there was one problem with it from a kid’s point of view. In order to wear the whole get-up, you needed to wear it with a suit or a sports jacket like the detectives on TV.

 

It needed to be concealed. No fun packing heat if people knew you were packing heat. Best if they just suspected it from the bulge in your jacket. Now in my world as a kid the only place I wore a suit was to church. You know where I’m going with this? Yes, after much begging and pleading, I was finally allowed to wear my rod to church one Sunday. And let me tell you, there were no problems with scofflaws that day— no stealing from the offering plate or any other monkey business.

Thanks to the kid with the steely glint in his eye and the bulge in his jacket.